A PACKED house at Sale Waterside had to evacuate half way through a production of Jack and the Beanstalk due to a fire alarm on January 12.

And it wasn’t just a stalking point at the arts centre, as customers at the next-door Oca restaurant also had to vacate the premises on the busy Saturday night.

One theatre-goer said she initially thought the sound was part of the performance, but soon realised that this was not the case when people began to leave the theatre.

“There was quite a sense of panic outside, but the front of house staff did a really good job of ushering everyone in and out,” she added.

A fire crew from Sale Fire Station arrived within 10 minutes and quickly determined that the fire alarm had activated accidentally.

It is thought smoke that had been used on stage may have set the alarm off.

The alarm had sounded very close to the interval, so the Sale Nomads pantomime was able to resume without great difficulty at the beginning of the second half.